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IPRT Submission to the Probation Service's Strategic Plan 2018-2020

16th February 2018

One of the core objectives of IPRT’s advocacy work is to ensure that prison is used as a sanction of last resort. Even short periods of imprisonment can have long-term, damaging effects, including disruption to family life, loss of employment and access to services, and an increased risk of institutionalisation as a result of the prison environment. 

Within this context, IPRT believes the promotion, and effective delivery of alternatives to custody, extended nationwide, should remain a key priority for the Probation Service in the period of 2018-2020. The Probation Service plays a vital role in reducing the prison population and providing individuals with opportunities to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

IPRT believes that the following should be the key priorities for the Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020:

  1. Promote, increase and extend the delivery of effective, direct alternatives to custody
  2. Increase focus towards prioritising reintegration in its work 
  3. Deepen understanding about the work of the Probation Service with key stakeholders
  4. Continue and increase the monitoring, evaluation and publication of relevant data and research to support evidence-informed policies
  5. Focus on alternative options for offenders with substance misuse issues
  6. Adopt and tailor programmes to specific cohorts (e.g. women, young people) with a view to rolling these out at a national level
  7. Enhance governance and accountability structures within the Probation Service
  8. Further strengthen relationships with other criminal justice bodies and external bodies (including housing, education and employment) and build inter-agency co-operation and capacity.

To read our full submission to inform the role and priorities of the Probation Service Strategic Plan 2018-2020, click here.

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